Category Archives: The Bench

AB 2073: eFiling Requirements for Orange County, California Superior Court – Effective 01-01-13

MP910220916Happy New Year, All!  I've been taking a little bit of a break from blogging, combing social media, etc.  However, this tidbit on AB 2073 crossed my path yesterday.  I'm posting the information verbatim from the Orange County Superior Court website:

PUBLIC EFILING NOTICES:  Effective January 1, 2013, pursuant to amendments
to Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and Orange County, California
Superior Court Rule 352, all documents filed in limited, unlimited, and complex
civil actions must be filed electronically unless the Court rules otherwise.
After January 1, 2013 any document that is electronically filed with the court
after the close of business shall be deemed to have been filed on the next
court day. “Close of business” means the time at which the court no longer
accepts filings at the court’s filing counter (e.g., 4:00 P.M.). Although not
ready for immediate implementation, the court is working towards extending the
electronic ‘filing window’ to midnight, at which point all documents filed
before midnight on a court day will deemed to have been filed on that court
day, and documents electronically filed on or after midnight will be deemed
filed on the next court day.

eDiscovery California: USDC – Northern District of California – Publishes New ESI Guidelines

MP900400507This news is so important to me – and most likely, to you as well – that I actually dropped what I was working on so I could bring it to you asap!  I wanted to make sure you’re aware of the implementation of these new ESI guidelines, which took effect yesterday.  Here’s the press release, and here’s a direct link to the guidelines page which includes a checklist and model stipulated order.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…


The Federal Judicial Committee has published proposed Model Jury Instructions (re "The Use of Electronic Technology to Conduct Research on or Communicate about a Case") [link opens 2-page PDF].  I honed in on the following language, to be given before trial and at the close of the case:  "I expect you will inform me as soon as you become aware of another juror’s violation of these instructions."

As well meaning as this language may be, is it a realistic strategy?  Never mind the fact that it's next-to-impossible to know what that person across the room is tinkering with on his or her smartphone.

As Roy Scheider (Brody) said in the 1975 movie, Jaws:


The Bench: #California Judicial Council Kills ‘Tower of Babel’


Project:  California Court Case Management System

Number of Years in the Making – Ten

Number of Computer Systems Utilized State-Wide – 70

Initial Cost Estimate – $260 million

Amount Spent to Date – $560 million

Amount Still to be Spent – $8.6 million

Estimated Cost to Complete – $2 billion

Number of Counties Upgraded – Six out of 58

Cancellation Date – Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Effect on the California Court System – PRICELESS!

The Bench: Goodbye, 4th Amendment…We Hardly Knew Ye…


I shared this article with my Twitter followers, but upon reflection, I wanted you all to see it.  It's penned by the Chief Justice of the Federal Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski – and his law clerk (I mention this because you'll see the relevance in the article).  The subject speaks for itself…enjoy the read.

The Bench: Lightning Strikes

MP900431819 In an attempt to unclog the logjam of pending cases, Los Angeles County has implemented an expedited-jury-trial option.  It came into being at the start of 2011.  The goal is to complete a trial – that encompasses relatively non-complex issues – in about a day.

That's the key.  The moment things get messy, it's not going to work.  But that's not the point, is it?  For a lot of cases, it will work, and anything that speeds up the wheels of justice – so long as equity is maintained – is a good thing.

The Bench: Oil Changes, Gonzales & Criminal Trials

Speedy_gonzales What do these three things have in common?  They're all expected to be speedy.  However, only one of them is a right guaranteed under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Now, due to a shortage of judges in Riverside County, California, 18 criminal cases have been dismissed, with 300 more in the pipeline that were on appeal.  The California Supreme Court upheld the dismissals.

It would be intellectually dishonest to blame this solely on the budget crisis.  I attended a judges symposium about three weeks ago at which Riverside County's issues, among others, were discussed; and they aren't all monetary.